How to quickly test apps in other languages with an Xcode scheme

⋅ 3 min read ⋅ Xcode

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When you write an app that supports multiple languages, you need to go back and forth between languages from time to time to make sure your design works great in every language.

If you are still going to "Settings > General > Languages & Region" to change your app language, this article would help you. I will show you how to set multiple schemes to quickly run your app in the language of your interest.

Change running app language with scheme options

By default, an app will run with the same language set in your device Settings app. We can override this in Scheme Options.

Open Scheme Editing window either by choose "Product menu > Scheme > Edit Scheme" (⌃ – Control + <) or click on "Scheme Menu" and choose "Edit Scheme..."

Scheme Menu
Scheme Menu
Edit Scheme
Edit Scheme

This will open up a "Scheme Editing" popup window, click on "Run" section and then click "Options" tab to see all available options.

Scheme Editing window
Scheme Editing window

You can change the language that your app will launch by choosing it from the "App Language" option. The default is "System Language", respecting your device settings.

Select a language that you want in the App Language option.
Select a language that you want in the App Language option.

Here is a simple app that shows "Hello, World!" text.

struct ContentView: View {
var body: some View {
Text("Hello, world!")
.font(.largeTitle)
.bold()
.padding()
}
}

Running the app with App Langauge set to Thai will yield the same result as changing the device language to Thai.

Hello, World! in the Thai language.
Hello, World! in the Thai language.

Create a dedicated scheme for a language

Changing an app language with the scheme option is easier than changing it from a device, but it still requires some steps. If you need to change this back and forth, these simple steps will add up and take your valuable time.

What I normally do is create a new scheme for each language. This might require some initial setup, but it would benefit you in the long run.

To create a new scheme, open the Manage Schemes window either by choosing "Product menu > Scheme > Manage Scheme" or clicking on "Scheme Menu" and choose "Manage Scheme..."

Manage Scheme
Manage Scheme

Click on the scheme you want to duplicate, then click on the ellipsis icon and choose "Duplicate".

Duplicate a scheme.
Duplicate a scheme.

This will duplicate the scheme and prompt you to edit the name of the new scheme. I put a suffix of "Thai" to clarify that this will run the app in Thai.

Edit the new scheme to run your app in a language of your interest.
Edit the new scheme to run your app in a language of your interest.

Change the App Language of this scheme to the language of your choice. In my case, I set it to Thai.

That's all! Now, you can easily switch between Thai and English by changing the active scheme in Scheme Menu.

Changing language is just a matter of changing the active scheme.
Changing language is just a matter of changing the active scheme.

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